When I got home I discovered that Smoky, one of my 4 year old boys was not well.
His legs and paws were swollen to twice their normal size and he just generally looked like a sack of water.
I quickly rushed him off to the emergency vet, and the next 16 hours or so were basically filled with waiting, phone calls, trips back and forth, and seemingly every test known to veterinary medicine. Suffice it to say that Smoky is really sick and they don't know why.
He's basically got generalized edema (swelling) all over and a very low grade fever. His blood work showed low albumin (a blood protein) and that he was slightly anemic. Nothing showed up on x-rays or ultrasound.
At this point we're waiting for a few more lab tests to come back, and in the meantime they've put him on two different antibiotics on the off chance that we're dealing with some sort of tick-borne disease (which seems unlikely given the fact that he's an all indoor cat, but hey, when you're grasping at straws...)
The most frightening prospect is that he could have feline leukemia. He's been tested for it in the past and came up negative, but apparently that doesn't mean much. If he does indeed have it, then Jasper, his litter mate, is almost certainly infected too.
The irony is almost palpable. For the past nine months I've been worried sick about Sputnik (who is still soldiering on BTW), and now it turns out that my little baby Smoky is the one facing a truly dire situation, and Jasper might not be far behind. I guess you just never know.
Anyhow, I just wanted to write a quick post and let y'all know what's going on. I probably won't be around much on the interwebs for a while, but will keep you posted if I can find a moment when I'm not medicating one cat or another, talking to a vet, filling out insurance forms, trying to figure out how I'm gonna pay for treatment once the insurance runs out, or curled up in a fetal position sobbing (which is sorta what I feel like doing at the moment).
I guess this is what you sign up for when you adopt neighborhood strays, but somehow it just doesn't seem fair. Sigh.
Hi Everybody. Just wanted to give you an update.
Smoky is doing MUCH better. We got the results of the FIV/FELV test back and he's negative so that's a HUGE weight off my mind. He is much less swollen this morning and has perked up quite a bit. I just went to check on him and found him lounging on his favorite perch at the top of the kitty tree, so he can't be feeling too terribly bad!
|Smoky Bear. Still a bit swollen around the edges but on the mend!|
At any rate, I'm feeling significantly less doom and gloom than I was yesterday, and I sincerely appreciate all of your kind words of support.
I'll keep you posted...